Top 20 Home Improvement Additions, Plus their Costs and ROI 2017

When you’re planning an addition or a major home improvement upgrade, there are so many options and things to take into account that it can get a little overwhelming. 😉 The nature of the home remodeling project itself, the materials you need, the cost of contractors to hire, building permits, whether or not there is a justifiable return on your home improvement investment, e.t.c. -– all of these are important factors to consider when planning your project.

Basic Costs of Hiring a Home Improvement Pro to Keep in Mind

When it comes to costing for your project, keep in mind that on average, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour for an electrician, $20 to $35 per hour for painters and around $70 to $80 an hour for a good carpenter. We have factored these average prices into our costing. Also note that the prices we mention are on average across the US, however costs may vary depending on where you are building. For example, coastal regions and major cities are likely to cost more than country towns.

Top 20 Major Home Addition Projects to Help You Visualize your own Home Remodeling Journey

  1. BUILDING A GARAGE

When it comes to building a garage, you should start by determining your budget, and then decide on the inclusions you want. You have two main options to choose from for the design – you can have a detached garage which stands on its own, away from the house, where you could also consider a second level for living, workshop or storage space; or attached so it sits on the side of your home and is generally more affordable. Whatever design you choose, you need to take into account the following to get an accurate quote: the size you want (double, single, three-car, compact, storage space); what materials it will be built from (for the walls – drywall, metal panels, plastic, cement; for the roof – gypsum, styrofoam, cork, tiles); windows and the type of door you want.

Detached: You’re going to pay more from the outset for detached, which you might put behind the house if there isn’t space to build next to it.

Cost: You’re looking at paying around $15,000 to $20,000 including labor and materials, but you can expect to pay more if you’re including plumbing, electrical lines or HVAC; and add another $5,000 to include a second level. Cost per square foot: $30-$40.

Attached: The less expensive of the two, attached garages connect to your home; saving you money immediately by utilizing one wall you have already in place. That means you’re only building three walls instead of four, and being next to the house, you can take advantage of close proximity to your home’s electricity and plumbing to save on installation fees.

via Atec Builders

Cost: For a single garage, expect to pay between $10,000 and $12,500; while a double garage will be in the vicinity of $30,000. This includes materials and labor costs. Cost per square foot: $40.

ROI: Best return on investment is for detached, which allow for added living space above the garage itself. You could include a small bathroom and kitchenette, then rent that space out to achieve 100% returns (and more).

  1. SUNROOM

Via Patio Enclosures

There is nothing quite like soaking up the morning or afternoon sunshine in your own sunroom and if you have the opportunity to include this as an addition to your home, we highly recommend it. With walls of glass that invite the sunlight in, you’ll be protected from the elements as you enjoy basking in the sunshine all year round. Sunrooms are affordable and popular, and are generally made from vinyl or aluminum. You can save money by skipping heating and using the room only through the warmer months (or only when the sun is shining directly on the room during winter).

Cost: The average cost of a sunroom addition depends on the size and features you want to include. Generally you’ll pay anywhere from $20,000 up to $75,000, including labor costs for painters, carpenters and electricians.  Average cost per square foot: $350 – $380.

ROI: Adding a sunroom will increase your home’s general value, so if you’re planning on selling any time soon, you should see a 50% return on the money you spend.


  1. CLOSET OR WARDROBE

Reach in closets or walk in closets and wardrobes will help you to keep your sanity in a space that can quickly get messy. Having the freedom to arrange your clothes in open space, without having everything thrown in drawers that are hard to maintain; not to mention the added storage space you’ll gain, makes getting a closet or wardrobe well worth your while. If you have smaller space to work with and less to store, a closet is the ideal choice. You can choose from a walk-in or a reach-in, depending on how much space you have to work with. If you’re getting one closet or wardrobe, why not buy in bulk – getting all the bedrooms fitted. You’ll save money – and get a greater return in the long run.

Cost: You’ll spend an average of around $1,500 to $2,000 for a simple walk-in closet of around 6.5 foot wide, and between $1,000 and $2,500 for a reach in closet or around $2,500 for a wardrobe. This price will increase if you need extra walls built. Average cost per square foot: $10 – $15.

ROI: 100%. Pay $2,000 for a closet, and if you sell your home, you can easily ask an extra $2,000 to the total price.

  1. ADDITIONAL BEDROOM

via Simply Additions

The family is expanding and you’re running out of space, but rather than move to a bigger house in a different suburb, consider adding another bedroom to your home. It’s easier than you think. Choose to build out, adding the room on the side of the home, or up, adding a second level; with the first option much more affordable and more practical in many circumstances. Building up could include a single room, or an entire floor, and in either option the price will increase.

Cost: Bedrooms generally don’t need a whole lot of hidden extras, so you can expect to pay between $150 and $250 per square foot, inclusive of labor costs, if you choose to build on the side of the home.

ROI: Building out will add immediate value to your home by extending the building’s perimeter, though it will decrease the amount of yard space. If you’re selling, expect a positive ROI of around 50%.

  1. DORMER

via Slope Side ICF

Many dormers are there for show. They make homes look more appealing to anyone who might be walking past, or considering buying, or they could be more practical in that they provide you the added benefit of more space in your attic. Adding a dormer to your attic, or including a shed dormer at the back of the home, could help turn it into a more livable space and more flexibility.

Cost: Dormers aren’t cheap. They will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 (or more) to have installed, depending on size, location on your home and materials required. Average cost per square foot: $80 – $120.

strong>ROI: Added space, more light and better looking style of home are all added benefits if you decide to sell. We’d say you will get around 40% returns financially, but the benefits of the added light will also save on electrical bills, so add another 20%+ over 10 years.

  1. OUTDOOR KITCHEN

via Fireside Outdoor Kitchens

Enjoy summer with all the benefits of an outdoor kitchen, great for entertaining friends and family, or just for yourself. When considering this as an addition on the home, you need to take into account several factors. The most important is the grill – what type, size, style grill do you want or need to be able to feed all those hungry mouths? Do you want gas, electric or open flame (such as a fire pit)?

Next you need to choose your other features – tile or stainless steel countertops are the most popular, and most resilient choices; cupboard space might be required; and you could need a fridge. What about a sink? Or are you close enough to the actual kitchen that you can get away with taking a few simple steps from outdoors to indoors? These are just a few of the things to consider.

Cost: Around $5,000 for something basic; up to $150,000 for extravagance. Average cost per square foot: $25 – $70 depending on materials.

ROI: Lapping up a life of luxury, enjoying the sunshine and basking in the glory of your amazing cooking, we’d give this return 100% when it comes to enjoyment. For financial gain if you decide to sell, you could get a 100%-200% return if you live in a nice, sunshine-filled area where the new owners will benefit greatly from being able to entertain outdoors.


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Top 10 Spring Home Improvements With Best ROI, Plus Cost and Pros & Cons

Home improvement in the spring is all about getting outdoors, enhancing the exterior of your house and improving its curb appeal for the upcoming summer months and rest of the year. “Why bother with the curb appeal?”, you may ask. Well, curb appeal normally ties in with the greater enjoyment of your home, as well as better return on investment or ROI for your property.

The obvious considerations are landscaping improvements. Half of our list is devoted to those type of projects and the other half are home exterior and structural improvements. In a few instances, an update or inspection may be all that is needed, but since that may lead to a significant upgrade, it has made our list.

Landscaping Improvements

1. Improving Yard Drainage

via Dry Creek Bed

The need for this improvement stems from the obvious over saturation of water on your property. Soggy yards are not only hard to navigate through, but can damage turf. If not addressed, the problem is likely to worsen. The worst case scenario occurs when water collects near your home and, over a period of time, impacts your foundation, possibly leading to a leaky basement.

The solution is as simple as using gravity to slope water from one spot to another spot, or to multiple spots. There are several methods to tackle the solution, and often a combination of steps is the best approach.

An obvious place to start is making sure your home’s drainage system is in working order. Clean gutters and downspouts, which is a great project to tackle each spring. After this, make sure the lower end of the downspout is directing water a good distance away from your home’s foundation. Ideally, you are directing the water to the yard’s drainage system for further discharge or distribution.

Yard drainage takes a bit of ingenuity and combines that with scientific principles. A landscaping contractor has experience to implement a solution that will work best for your property, or ones just like it. The basics though, are to make note of troubled spots, observe how water moves or remains stagnant over all areas of your property and come up with plan of action. A diagram or site plan that focuses on terrain and water movement (via arrows) can be of tremendous help.

From here, it is then about grading or sloping the property as one possible way to tackle the problem. Alternative and well tested solutions use various drainage devices to move water either off the property or around it so distribution is as even as possible.

Cost: On average, improving yard drainage will range from $1,800 to $5,000. The higher price accounts for additional underground devices that may be used in the sloping. Much of the cost deals with labor to pay for someone to do the work that goes with grading and digging.

Pros: Less areas on your property that are swampy, reassurances that foundation will not be inundated with water, redistribution of water offers better growth within various regions of your land – such that gardens can be had where previously they may have been ruled out.

Cons: Very little curb appeal with this project, creates an additional area of ongoing maintenance though that ought to be offset by the fact that an original problem is no longer in effect

Additional consideration: ROI is between negligible and non-existent for this project because you are fixing a flaw more than upgrading an existing an aspect of your property. The next buyer of your home expects drainage to be in working order.

2. Installing a Sprinkler System

via TriState Water Works

The first project was about removing or redirecting water from your property, this one is about adding it. Gotta love the irony. A sprinkler system though seeks to effectively distribute water in an even fashion and remain unnoticeable when not in use.

Positioning sprinkler heads, digging trenches for underground pipes or hoses and maintaining turf integrity are all tasks best left to a landscaping professional. While you can save on labor costs, the potential to do things incorrectly or worse, damage your property outweighs the costs that it takes to hire and pay for a landscaping crew to do this job.

Cost: Prices for fully installed sprinkler systems range from $2,000 to $5,000. Size of your property, labor for digging up and later restoring those areas, along with quality of the system account for the majority of the cost.

Pros: The return on investment for this project isn’t best measured in monetary value. It’s a hidden improvement that has little curb appeal other than a well irrigated yard. But the return is still significant. Coupled with a yard drainage system, your yard will flourish for a long time to come and will no longer require you to lug a hose around spending 20 minutes daily on manual irrigation.

Cons: It’s expensive when compared to the desire some get from spending 20 minutes daily on manual irrigation. Plus if something in the system is not working properly, it can be challenging to determine the problem or expensive to fix it.

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